A Facebook whistleblower who leaked private documents about the company’s research exposed herself ahead of a Sunday night interview.
Frances Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s misinformation team, exposed herself as the source of the leaked documents. She said that she grew more disturbed by the company’s actions favoring its own profits over public safety throughout her tenure there. So, Frances decided to blow the whistle on Facebook as a last-ditch option and at significant risk.
According to her LinkedIn page, Haugen has worked as a product manager at Pinterest and Google, and she says she is a technical co-founder of the dating app Hinge. Haugen has experience at many social networks, but she claims Facebook was far worse than anything she’d seen before.
The leaked documents indicated that Facebook officials were aware of the detrimental effects of its products on teenage users. One document revealed 14% of British users and 6% of American users who expressed suicidal thoughts attributed the thoughts to Instagram. More documents revealed that one in five teens said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves.
Since then, Facebook has claimed that the cherry-picked data and headlines on its internal presentations disregarded possible positive interpretations of the data, such as the possibility that users saw positive effects from using their products.
Haugen expressed her empathy for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, claiming that he “has never set out to make a hateful platform. But he has allowed choices to be made where the side effects of those choices are that hateful, polarizing content gets more distribution and more reach.”
Do you agree with Haugen?
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